Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Flames likely won’t be giving out any offer sheets this summer

The Calgary Flames have 13 pending restricted free agents on their reserve list right now. The compensation levels for signing other team’s RFAs to offer sheets have been set and it’s likely that the Flames won’t be getting involved in any of that stuff this off-season.

Via TSN’s Gord Miller, the terms for the 2019-20 offer sheet compensation:

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Over the past two CBAs (2005 to present) only eight players league-wide have signed an offer sheet. Seven of those eight situations saw the team match the offer sheet – including the 2013 instance where the Flames had Ryan O’Reilly accept their offer sheet, only for the Colorado Avalanche to match it (and the Flames avoiding losing O’Reilly on waivers due to a gross misunderstanding of a clause in the not-yet-finalized CBA).

The one instance of a team not matching the offer sheet is the Edmonton Oilers signing Dustin Penner away from the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 – the Ducks received first, second and third round picks in the 2008 NHL Draft. (Fun fact: that offer sheet resulted in Brian Burke’s infamous “barn fight” request/threat to Oilers executive Kevin Lowe.)

One of the things that make offer sheeting an RFA challenging is that your team needs to have all the picks when they tender the offer, and the picks need to be the team’s original picks. If the Flames were to offer sheet Mitch Marner at a $7.5 million AAV, for example, they would need to use their own first, second and third round picks in 2020 to do so.

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Therein lies the big difficulty for the Flames. They don’t really have the cap space moving forward into 2019-20 to make a big splash with offer sheeting RFAs – even if it was part of the norms of the NHL’s general managers to do so – and they’ve traded away so many draft picks over the past two or three seasons that they really need to hold onto their picks to replenish their entry level system.

No cap space and a prospect system that gets pretty lean after the likes of Dillon Dube and Juuso Valimaki adds up to what’s likely to be yet another summer of the Flames avoiding offer sheets. It’s probably for the best, too – they narrowly dodged a bullet with the O’Reilly offer sheet and they’re likely better off avoiding any more CBA rabbit holes.

    • Franko J

      I was thinking the same thing. Depending on which team submits the offer sheet, it would be something for BT to think about. If it is team like the Devils {never going to happen}, it would be a no brainer.

    • Kevin R

      Not a worry, the only way a team has any chance of succeeding on an offer sheet is to overpay. Anything under $8.5 per Flames would easily match. Anything over & I would think for those kind of assets, the targets would be Marner, Rantanen, Aho would be targets & I am 99.9% sure those type of offer sheets happen. Just a tier below these kind of players are where your offer sheets may rear their heads. Bennett would be a prime target for a 6.0 mill per type of deal & players like Kappanen, Karlsson on Vegas, MCavoy or Carlo.

    • The Beej

      What are you even talking about?
      Again. There will be no offer sheets this year. Just like there were none last year.

      No one is offer sheeting Tkachuk.

      Offer sheets dont happen. They arent a thing teams do. Not anymore.

      Dont waste time worrying over something that is not something. No one had done an offer sheet in years.

      This subject does deserve more than 15 seconds of your life.

      • wot96

        Not sure you have enough imagination. Matthews had an signing bonus that dragged his AAV way up. The bonus took care of issues that might have arisen as a result of the next CBA – whatever they might be.

        So, if Matty has his permanent residence in a low tax jurisdiction, or is prepared to do so, and got a front loaded offer, the overall tax hit would be relatively lower than it would otherwise have been so he could take less money and still make more. If the up front signing bonus is big enough, the Flames might balk.

        That said, I think the prime targets this year are likely Euros such as Raantanen, Aho and Kappenen, rather than Marner precisely because I expect Marner will want to stay close to home. But that depends on the psychology of the individual.

  • buts

    Offer sheets are not the way to build as not only does it put the team in cap jail I’m sure most GM’s would not talk to you after. There are more than enough assets to trade for BT to get what this team is missing.

    • Franko J

      I agree. The Flames really don’t have the assets to acquire a RFA via an offer sheet. Better served to make a trade for one. Same as last season when we traded for Hanifin and Lindholm, both RFA’s that were available due to their contract demands/status with the Hurricanes.

    • The Beej

      Thats right. They dont happen.

      But the talking heads have to bring them up every year because they cant think if anything else to discuss.

      Thats a perfect description for them. Talking heads.

    • Jeremy

      The Leafs don’t have any problems with cash.
      They can simply move Marleau and his 6.25 mill hit to a salary cap bottom club. They get 6.25 in floor cash for the bargain price of 1.25 mill this year. clearing 5 mill for the Leafs.

      • Willi P

        Except Marleau’s pesky little No Movement Clause. Not so simple.

        The Leafs were the only team to offer that 3 year deal with NMC and the only reason Marleau left San Jose as he was offered 2 years there.

  • The Beej

    Who cares?

    This is a waste of an article and an obvious conclusion.

    The fact is most (all?) teams will not be doling out an offer sheet this year.

    Or next year.

    Or the year after that.

    When was the last time an offer sheet even happened?

    This is not a thing. Pike, if you are going to take the time to write an article just express an original idea or something.

    Rather than just regurgitating crap from the mainstream media about something thats not even a thing.

    • Kevin R

      Not I sure I totally agree with you Beej! Yes no one is going to offer sheet the tier 1 players. But there has recently been a trend where RFA’s are getting top dollar for potential. Its being reinforced by the 29-30 year olds getting over paid for what they have done & are underperforming the contracts. What that has created is many teams are running close to the cap & the younger players that are showing huge potential in their ELC’s are getting paid like UFA’s. It’s putting a strain on getting players that didnt breakout on their ELC’s but have high ceilings into a good “offersheet” category.

      There are some teams that might think a Bennett is worth a mid round 1st & 3rd knowing now way Calgary could match an offer in that range. I’m blown away no one offer sheeted Nurse when Oilers had no cap room but to give him a bridge.
      Kappanen is another offer sheet candidate. Maybe an article on these tier of RFA’s where the teams have cap issues would be worth giving up a 1st & 3rd for. That would be worth a read & speculation.

      • The Beej

        No one offer sheeted Nurse because there is a general understanding among GMs not to drop the turd in the punchbowl. It inflates salaries and hurts everyone in the end.

        There hasnt been an offer sheet in years and there wont be one this year.

  • The Flaming C

    We should try offer sheeting Binnington at $4M. The Blues would easily match that by itself but what if you loaded it with performance bonuses…$1m for 30 wins, $1M for the Cup and playing 12 playoff games, $1m for playing 50 games, $1M for a .930 save %.

  • Jimmyhaggis

    The NHL GM’S are all buddies, or most are, they have to work together to get deals done, making an offer sheet would blackball a GM and they don’t want that. Why do think it doesn’t happen.

      • The Beej

        But nothing.

        Here is the correct perspective:

        Turd in punchbowl.

        The punchbowl is the player pool UFA market what you.

        Everyone has to drink from the punchbowl.

        Why would you want to drop a turd in a punchbowl that you will need to drink from in the future.

        So… to sum up… if you offersheet a player you end of eating your own turd eventually… because any short term benefit you might gain is outweighed by – see Haggis post above.